Not everything in Traveller has to be spaceships and lasers. There is plenty of opportunity for adventure in a variety of lower tech environments.
Vanejen is a Tech Level 5 world which you might recognise from the Classic Traveller adventure Research Station Gamma. A few months ago I ran an adventure, imaginatively titled Return to Research Station Gamma, set in the year 1116, with my Travellers on the trail of a kidnapped child. During the adventure they visited Vanejen and took passage on an airship, the Lady Lovelace.
This blog post features an A1 printable PDF of the Lovelace and an A4 sheet with a description of her crew and the various locations onboard. I’m using Robert Pearce’s excellent geomorphs again.
The original Classic adventure encouraged the Travellers to hire a submersible. I looked at the description of Vanejen’s technology “equivalent to the Terran period 1900 to 1939” and it dawned on me that this was a steampunk world! Or dieselpunk, if you want to get specific. An iconic symbol of these subgenres is the airship, a much quicker form of transport than a submersible which would keep my adventure’s narrative pace ticking along.
I grounded the Travellers’ spaceship in bureaucratic paperwork and railroaded them aboard the Lady Lovelace, a tramp airship with an oddball crew…
Captain Phineas Turner: a tall, heavily built man, dressed in a tan leather long-coat.
First Mate Chiree: a chirper.
Miss Hettie Pennington: ship’s mechanic, a petite young lady with a pet beaked monkey.
Doctor Zachariah Smith: ship’s surgeon and steward, a slim gentleman with red hair.
Again, some of you might spot a familiar name amongst the crew. Chiree is the chirper from the original Classic adventure. His story is that he was rescued by another group of Travellers 10 years earlier.
My Travellers had a lot of fun aboard the Lovelace. The doctor proved untrustworthy and they fought off a band of sky pirates. The Lovelace finally made it to the research station and they abseiled down onto the icy upper deck during a fierce snowstorm. They found the child, a young girl with powerful Psionic abilities, hidden away in one of the research globes, surrounded by white beaked monkeys. Things did not end well for the Professor!
Here are the PDFs. Feel free to download these plans and print for personal use. Enjoy!